The rise and fall of the South African organ-trafficking ring

2001

Ilan Perry of Israel approaches Roderick Kimberley of Durban, South Africa, about getting involved in a kidney-transplant ring. Over the next two years, at least 107 transplant operations are carried out at St. Augustine's Hospital in Durban. All the recipients are Israeli. The donors come from Israel, Brazil, and possibly Russia and Romania.

2002

Aug./Sept. Hernani Gomes da Silva first connects with the kidney-donor syndicate in Recife, Brazil.

October Hernani flies to Durban.

Nov. 26 Hernani's left kidney is removed and implanted in Amiram Aharoni, an Israeli. Hernani is listed as a "live related" donor.

2003

February In Israel, Arie Pach has surgery to prepare for kidney dialysis but realizes he doesn't want to spend his life hooked to the machines.

April 8 Arie arrives in Durban.

April 16 Arie gets a new kidney, transplanted from a Brazilian.

June Johan Wessels in Durban is asked by the health department to join the investigation of an organ-trafficking ring.

Late November An Israeli donor named S. Zohr bolts from operating table at St. Augustine's, confirming the existence of an international kidney syndicate.

Nov. 27 Durban police raid St. Augustine's.

Dec. 3 Police in South Africa and Brazil arrest 14 people allegedly involved in the ring.

Dec. 5 Agania Robel, an Israeli kidney-transplant patient, is fined $770 for an illegal kidney transplant in Durban.

Dec. 10 Mr. Kimberley pleads guilty to 76 counts of contravening the Human Tissue Act. He is given a six-year suspended sentence and fined $38,000. He implicates senior clinic staff involved in more than 107 cases of illegal transplants.

Dec. 18 Hernani testifies before the Pernambuco state legislature, and says he's getting death threats.

2004

January Hernani, in disguise, testifies before the Brazilian parliament.

March A congressional investigation in Brazil begins, looking into more than 50 cases of kidney donations in five states. Investigators have until September to present their findings.

June In South Africa, four alleged syndicate members have been charged and are awaiting trial. The investigation has been expanded to hospitals in Johannesburg and Cape Town. In Israel, the Knesset expects to debate a bill making the brokering of organ sales illegal.

Source: Staff research and wire services

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK